Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Monday Memo: [i]AQ[/i]’s Top Expected Stories for the Week of September 24

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Top stories this week are likely to include: UNGA high-level meetings get underway; Enrique Peña Nieto concludes Latin America tour; mining strike continues in Bolivia; Federico Franco and Mariano Rajoy discuss Ibero-American Summit; and Evo Morales visits Cuba.

UNGA High-Level Meetings Kick Off: The sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) began last week, and this week the focus shifts to a series of high-level meetings along with general debate among the many heads of state representing the United Nations’ 193 member-countries. The high-level meeting on the rule of law takes place today at the New York secretariat. General debate begins tomorrow morning with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivering the first address for the second consecutive year.

Peña Nieto Concludes LatAm Tour: Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto will arrive home today after completing a six-country tour through Latin America in advance of his December 1 inauguration. Peña Nieto visited Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. In his most recent stop, Peña Nieto and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala agreed yesterday to strengthen ties on public security issues, particularly in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. The Mexican president-elect called for strengthening the Pacific Alliance and will round out his tour by meeting with 180 Peruvian businessmen today to discuss ways to boost trade ties. “This was a successful trip for Peña Nieto to show the leadership that his government wants to take in the hemisphere and how he will aim to collaborate on key issues for Mexico,” notes AQ Senior Editor Jason Marczak.

Mining Strike in Bolivia: In the escalating standoff this month between the Bolivian government and cooperative-member miners over the Colquiri tin and zinc mine, perhaps this week could see a development. Although the Federación Sindical de Trabajadores Mineros de Bolivia (Union Federation of Miners in Bolivia) broke off talks on Saturday with a delegation sent by Bolivian President Evo Morales, Minister of Government Carlos Romero called for further dialogue over the rights to Colquiri. The Bolivian government expropriated the mine from a Swiss company in June 2012.

Franco, Rajoy to Discuss Ibero-American Summit: Paraguayan President Federico Franco and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet on the sidelines of UNGA in New York this week to discuss the status of Paraguay’s presence at the Ibero-American Summit to be held in Cádiz, Spain in November. Given Paraguay’s suspension from Mercosur and Unasur in response to the impeachment of former President Fernando Lugo, it was revealed that a Spanish diplomat traveled to Asunción recently to dissuade Paraguay from participating in the summit in the hope that Argentina would attend. Look for developments from the Rajoy-Franco discussion this week.

Evo Morales Visits Cuba: Bolivian President Evo Morales made an unannounced stop in Havana enroute to New York for the UNGA, where he was greeted by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez according to Cuban state television. Today, Morales receives a doctorate degree, honoris causa, in political science from the University of Havana.

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